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Critics of Missouri abortion law drop vote push

(AP) Critics of a new Missouri law that restricts abortions say they won’t make a push to gather the signatures needed to put it to a public vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri’s Development Director Nicole Rainey says it’s impossible to collect the roughly 100,000 voter signatures needed in two weeks. That’s when most of the new law takes effect.

The ACLU of Missouri filed a referendum petition in hopes that voters would overturn the law. It bans abortions at or after eight weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for medical emergencies but not for rape or incest.

Abortion-rights advocates had to wait for Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to certify the petition before collecting signatures. Ashcroft did so Wednesday, leaving the group with two weeks to get enough signatures to block the law pending a 2020 statewide vote.

Rainey says they’re now shifting focus to register voters for the 2020 election.

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